The policy studies and politics of education network met for the third time in Rethymnon. It is quite evident that there is a growing interest in the network, reflected in an increase in both the numbers attending and in proposal submissions. This year we received 60 submissions of papers and we accepted 41. Some proposals were rejected on the basis that they were either purely descriptive or because they did not present a sound methodological and theoretical grounding. In addition, we received 6 symposium proposals which were all accepted.
The symposia were on the following topics:
- Globalisation and Nationalism in Education (running in 2 sessions)
- Enacting Equity in Europe: Towards a Comparison of Equitable Practices in Different Local Contexts (running in 4 sessions)
- Teacher Education in Scandinavia: Reform, Recruitment and Professional Identity under Restructuring (running in 2 sessions)
- International Organisations and Education Policy (1 session)
- Imagining and Practising Europe (1 session)
- Contested Discourses of the Good Teacher (running in 2 sessions)
There was also a roundtable on CERI/OECD and Comparative Policy Analysis, and we were able to group together a number of papers on the politics of inclusion, on higher education politics and on critical policy analysis.
The network sessions were very well attended, including audiences of over 40 for the last sessions of the conference on Saturday morning. It was generally felt that the organisation of papers into related topics had helped to foster discussion. This was particularly the case with regard to symposia which were focussed on a specific theme. Very few paper givers failed to turn up.
There was a network meeting to discuss ways of developing the activities of the network and to put forward future plans.
In this meeting the themes of the next conference were discussed and there was overall agreement on the following issues:
- In future conferences the time schedule of the programme is going to be strictly administered and no changes will be accepted once the programme has been published, since the rescheduling of one symposium this year created considerable disturbance for the whole programme. All the participants should be aware of the time schedule of the conference and be prepared to present their papers according to the programme.
- Presenters who failed to turn up without communicating with the organisers will be treated with caution in case of future submission of proposals.
- Chairs should keep the presenters within the agreed time limit and facilitate discussion.
- Presenters should be prepared to give a small talk which includes their main arguments, rather than long narrations.
- Symposia are considered to be successful and constructive but should not exceed three sessions in the future.
- Roundtables that focus on new areas of intellectual contestation are strongly encouraged.